It never fails. I always hear stories from friends about how they may have caught a cold, foot fungus or some other germ at the gym. If you have been a victim or would like to prevent becoming a victim of the gym cooties, here are a few ways to keep the germs at bay.
There are areas within the gym that have been shown to be the worst at hoarding germs. Those areas are free weights, weight machines and the exercise ball. Which pretty much sums up the whole gym, right? Well, don’t fret, most gyms have those handy anti-bacterials wipes available, if not, you should bring your own personal pack. Wipe those areas down where they will touch your exposed skin and you are good to go.
Be careful in the locker room. It may look clean and it may even be cleaned several times per day, but what about those times in between. Never sit naked on the benches because others may have been naked there as well. Vaginal yeast, fecal matter, and lots of other grossness has been found, so be cautious and use a dry towel (you brought from home) to sit on. Also, be sure to wear your flip flops or shower shoes if you decide to go in the sauna, steam room and shower. The floors in those areas are sure to harbor fungus and bacteria that causes ringworm and athlete’s foot.
You know that treadmill, bike, or elliptical you love? Well, it may get wiped down throughout the day, but to be safe, wipe it down before and after each use on the areas where it touches your exposed skin. Be sure to include the seat area on the bike and any buttons.
Check out this quick checklist of things you should do to prevent getting any germs at the gym:
- Cover any cuts or broken skin with a bandage.
- Wash hands before and after your workout.
- Wipe down machines before and after use.
- Bring your own water bottle, towels, and exercise mat.
- Don’t sit on the locker-room bench naked.
- Always wear flip-flops or shower shoes in the locker room and shower.
- Don’t shave at the gym or immediately before going there.
- Whenever possible, shower at home after your workout.
- Keep dirty clothes and shoes in separate gym bag compartments or place in a plastic bag.
- Wash gym clothes after each use.
- Examine your skin weekly. If you find a painful red spot or a bump, see your doctor.
Practice these tips each time you go to the gym. You want to keep yourself safe and also prevent spreading any infections to the kids.
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